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Good Democratic LeadershipOn Prudence and Judgment in Modern Democracies$
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John Kane and Haig Patapan

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199683840

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199683840.001.0001

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Emancipators’ Dilemmas: Democratic Leadership and the Politics of Equal Rights

Emancipators’ Dilemmas: Democratic Leadership and the Politics of Equal Rights

Chapter:
(p.109) 7 Emancipators’ Dilemmas: Democratic Leadership and the Politics of Equal Rights
Source:
Good Democratic Leadership
Author(s):

Rogers M. Smith

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199683840.003.0007

Chapter 7 discusses the effectiveness or otherwise of historical leadership attempts to promote a progressive agenda in American politics. It specifically focuses on the informal alliance between Abraham Lincoln and the anti-slavery activists of his day, which led ultimately to the end of slavery in the United States. It was, to say the least, a very awkward and contentious alliance, but the point is that that was precisely its virtue. At issue was the question of how far and how fast forces of progress might go before the forces of reaction and resistance brought matters to a halt and further entrenched the status quo. Ultimately, the chapter reveals how difficult good democratic leadership (defined in terms of effectiveness) can be, and how dependent on crucial political alliances.

Keywords:   Abraham Lincoln, democratic leadership, slavery, political alliances, American politics

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